Friday August 3, 2018
ECSA Secretary General Martin Dorsman. SUPPLIED
AUGUST 3, 2018 — European shipowners have welcomed a European Council
decision to extent the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta
until December 31, 2020. The objectives of Operation Atalanta are the
deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed
robbery off the Somali coast and the protection of the World Food
Program (WFP) and other vulnerable shipping, fishing activities and
other EU missions and programs in the region.
"The naval presence of the EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta and the
cooperation with other international forces, has strongly contributed to
the dramatic decrease in piracy attacks in this region," said Martin
Dorsman, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners
Association (ECSA). The number of attacks off the coast of Somalia in
the Indian Ocean has decreased from 176 in 2011 to 9 in 2017, while no
incident was reported during the second quarter of 2018.
Following the U.K.'s decision to withdraw from the EU, the Council
also decided that the Operational Headquarters will be transferred from
Northwood (U.K) to Rota (Spain), and the Maritime Security Center Horn
of Africa (MSCHOA) to Brest (France) as of 29 March 2019.
"It needs to be guaranteed that the Operation Atalanta will continue
to run as effectively and efficiently as today," Dorsman said.
The shipping industry will continue to cooperate with the EU NAVFOR
commanders to ensure that Somali-based piracy stays suppressed.